West Lawn woman latest Cook County cold-related death: medical examiner

A Southwest Side woman died partially of cold exposure, becoming the latest Cook County resident to die in connection to a week of frigid weather.

Reyna Duarte, 58, was pronounced dead at 8:50 a.m. Friday at Advocate Christ medical center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

According to Chicago police, the woman suffered a medical emergency while outside her West Lawn neighborhood home in the 3800 block of West 64th Street around 7 a.m. that morning and was taken to the hospital. It was unclear how long Duarte was outside before she was found, but the official air temperature was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of her medical episode.

An autopsy performed Saturday found that Duarte suffered a stroke and died from a combination of the stroke, along with high blood pressure and two common types of heart disease, as well as cold exposure, according to the medical examiner’s office. The death was ruled an accident.

Duarte’s death would be the eighth confirmed weather death for Cook County since a snowstorm and frigid temperatures swept through the Midwest last week. The lingering arctic blast spurred the National Weather Service to issue a wind chill advisory for several days and Chicago officials implemented an extreme weather plan, opening warming centers for vulnerable residents.

Will and Lake counties also reported three possible weather-related deaths in the same period as of Thursday.